Get your kids moving!

Fast food restaurants line the streets and snacks fill the aisles of grocery stores. In a time when people are becoming more and more obese we need to take a look at where it is starting from, our children. I have noticed seeing children just as obese as grown ups and I can only see that it is from a lack of correct diet and exercise.

Why not start your kids out on the right track and get them eating healthy and let them go to a gym. But not the type of gym you may be thinking about, one specifically designed for children. The Little Gym is one I have noticed lately. I did a little investigating and found it offers many programs and support for getting your little ones healthy. The Little Gym offers programs to build motor skills and social skills while having fun. Programs consist of music, movement, exercise, sports, games, listening, cooperation, and gymnastics. Karate and summer/holiday camps are also offered. Help your child become more confident, healthy and have fun in the process. Check out some programs for your kids in your local area.

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Dry drowning

I was just recently sent a link to a news report from last week on MSNBC from my daughters softball coach. Having a pool in my backyard I was horrified to hear about a 10 yr old boy in South Carolina who drowned 1 HOUR AFTER he went swimming!  

Apparently if a child gets a small amount of water in their lungs they may not come up choking on water, but that water will deteriorate the lungs lining causing the lungs to not be able to produce enough oxygen for the brain and body to function properly.

This boys mother, took her son home after he soiled himself in the pool.  She then bathed him and after he complained of being tired, put him in for a nap.  About 1 hour later she went back into his room and discovered his entire face was covered with a spongy white material and he was not breathing.  They rushed him to the hospital and it was too late to revive him.  

Some signs of this type of “dry drowning” include irregular behavior in the child (for this boy, him soiling himself in the pool), extreme tiredness, and/or inability to properly wake the child from a nap (moreso then normal).  These “signs” of dry drowning can appear very similar to your child just normally being tired after running around a pool in the hot sun and swimming.  It is very difficult to detect the difference.

This strange phenomenon can also occur in the ocean, a lake or even a bath tub.  It’s not enough to just “watch” your child in the water, make sure that your child is not swallowing pool water and not putting water in their mouths at all.  Parents beware!

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Clowning For Healing

Just when we thought that clowns exist for the sole purpose of entertaining us and making the kids laugh, the whole clowning industry stepped into a whole new level when clowns began to matter to the sick and depressed patients as well. In the past few decades, research has shown that humor benefits the sick and depressed in significant ways. Thus, it’s not surprising that medical clowning came into the health picture.

Medical clowning involves the use of clowns who have undergone special training in both the medical and clowning industry, so they know how to fuse both worlds. It differs a lot from general clowning because medical clowning tailors the funny acts to the specific patient’s sickness and behavior. Research has shown time and again that humor has a strong positive effect on patients, thus it’s no surprise more and more hospitals employ medical clowning as one means of treatment.

This art of treatment is not without its drawbacks, and as can be expected, medical clowning often works better on children because of their easier sense of humor. Adults can be harder to entertain and are usually more jaded than the younger ones. Nevertheless, much research is being conducted on how to improve and work on the principles of medical clowning for adults.

There are currently a lot of organizations in America training people on medical clowning. Many of these organizations are specifically targeting homes for the aged and orphanages and they take their trained students directly to these places. The goal is to bring some hope and joy to both kids and adults who have had very traumatic pasts or fatal sicknesses.

Clowning to entertain the sick and depressed may not be the major solutions to patients’ problems, but time and again, laughter and a positive disposition have been shown to work wonders in a patient’s outlook and inspire him to fight to live and be happy.

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Let’s Not Talk About It

I know, the economy is tanking, gas is going up, people are losing their jobs and you’re feeling very scared and hopeless. Everywhere you turn it’s on the news, your friends and relatives’ phone calls are all about how bad it is and still, nothing’s improving. You worry at night about how bad it is going to get before someone does something. Somebody will do something right? Then you remember, oh yeah, there isn’t anybody to fix it. It’s the cycle of an economy so large that it is its own entity. And nothing can fix it. And so you panic and worry and wonder,’how did I get here?’ and you feel alone, ashamed that you can’t afford gas or a movie where before you were buying different purses for different outfits. I know. I hear you.

But I actually have a very strange solution. And no, it’s not about a new multilevel marketing job or just accept where you are, or a plan to get rich quick or rob a bank… It’s a solution that really works. But it’s the one and only solution that no one wants to look at or accept.
Most people see what’s outside of them and those problems, people, job and things that need to change before they will be happy. And right now, it’s money. We are ALL seriously stressed about money. This seeing what’s outside ourselves actually does us harm. It makes us see what we lack, and then it brings inside of us, a feeling of shame, less-than, lack and failure. We pull up to a convenience store and a very nice new SUV pulls up and we think, ‘boy I wish I could have the money to own one of those’. But what you’re not thinking is that person is upside down in the money owed on that car, it guzzles gas and they would give anything to scale down and get something smaller. So seeing how much we lack is not only a lie but can really hurt you and bring you down. The truth is that in these times, everyone is suffering, whether you can see it or not. So you don’t get to be the woe is me person.

So what do you do? The key is in focusing not on what’s out there, bills, cars, lack of money, job, work, etc. but to bring your focus into your body. It is through our bodies that we experience our world and our place in it and so the way out is to go inward. It is inside you where you will find your strength, your power, your best ideas for change and solutions for problems.
There are levels of awareness and the most aware person feels their spiritual energy, listens to hints from the intuition, trusts ideas and operates from a position of peace and trust from within. The next level is feeling powerful physically, beautiful and strong and capable so that you can take the information you have and feel capable of putting it into action. You feel strong physically and that makes you feel stronger emotionally and you know you have the energy to accomplish what must be done for you and your family.

Once we start to dissociate from our bodies, because they are overweight or they hurt or we begin to resent them for betraying us we begin to move our focus outside our bodies so that all our awareness and attention is focused on anything except how we feel, our heart rate and breathing, our stomach and hunger, our skin and how soft it is, instead we focus on dinner, tools, cars, money, bills, the faces of those we love and the things we are doing without.
This shift of focus from inside to outside is the key. It’s the key to pain and despair. And the key to fixing it is to put our focus back inside our bodies. How long has it been since you’ve felt your heartbeat? How long has it been since you’ve been aware of your own breathing? How long has it been since you touched the back inside of your knee or put lotion on your feet, or looked straight into the mirror and didn’t make a single judgment, positive or negative, just looked. As parents, teachers, spouses and employees it gets hard to notice what’s inside but our disconnection from that is to disconnect from the gas pump and run on fumes. So how do you start and where do you go from here?

The way out is in
The goal from here is to relearn our bodies. We have to come back in touch with our senses, our balance, our heart beat, our spirit, our voice and intuition. We have to begin by taking care of the physical body we inhabit. Do your nails and hair, put lotion on and shave. These things get lost by the way side during troubled times. But these are extremely important in our plan.
The next part involves losing weight and getting our muscles strong. As women, we are rarely taught about testosterone and its role in our lives. But it is very important for women. It helps us fight certain cancers and build muscle strength, it helps keep our other hormones in balance and keep us mood balanced. But testosterone is the hormone of attitude. When we can get our bodies muscular, and tight, we begin to live in a different universe inside and out. Once your body feels strong, you feel strong emotionally. You are in touch and that voice speaks loudly giving you the next idea and push forward. Your strong body changes you mentally and gives you a superman attitude where you don’t feel defeated.

Where to begin
If you’re overweight, or just gave birth, or are unmotivated, I can hear you…..”Yeah, I’m not anywhere near that.” And that’s perfect because getting there is part of the process of transforming you into the powerful strong woman our ancestors were, that we can be! Economy, blah! We have resources, we can always find another way. And when you’re in that state, those other ways show up like miracles. I have experienced it myself, from a size 16, breaking out in rashes, tired, unmotivated and depressed, to lose down to a size 5, rock climb and feel powerful and strong. I used to teach science so I knew about my body and how to use it to my advantage. But my beginning was small. Walking around the block and starting to take half the food off my plate. I didn’t see any reward for my efforts for a month. And then it was off and on. But I realized it was a process of transformation. It wasn’t just my body I was changing, I, ME, was changing. My mind, my spirit, my power was changing.

What emerges in us is just as different from who we are now as we think it will be. But focus on today. What can you do to start today? Sometimes all it takes is saying no to candy today. And maybe tomorrow you’ll walk around the block. But this walk is your path back to power. I hope you keep walking running and playing your way back to the only person who can weather this storm.

The Author is where you will find Teresa Bondora. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her family where she counsels others on the realities of losing weight, and support in the sciences.

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Write a Letter

When I was kid I used to love going to the mail with my mom to check it. I always had this hope that I’d get something in the mail. I never did but occasionally near my birthday I would or once a month I’d get my highlights book. But other than that, I had no reason really to think something was coming for me. Now that I’m grown all the mail is for me but it’s not the kind I want to get. Yet I still find myself opening it thinking that maybe today I’ll get a check in the mail or a letter from a friend that’s nice and long. So I decided that I should. I wrote myself a letter. I talked about the kids, what I was afraid of and how things were going. I wrote of how much I loved my family and what our plans were. And I mailed me a letter.

When it arrived, I had forgotten about it. But when I sat to read it, it was strange to see my life in print, to read it like it was another person, to see it examined in such a matter of fact way. And it made the little things I worried about seem trivial. I found myself wondering, ‘Will she make it to Disney? Will her writing get published? I hope the kids are doing okay and that they’re happy. Will the teen get her driver’s permit on the first try? I decided that getting mail was good. I decided that writing my life was good.

When I was angry about something I wrote it in a letter and I mailed it to my “good friend”. When I received her letter in the mail I laughed at how trivial it seemed, what I was angry about. So I wrote her so. I noted at how people can come to their own conclusions and can learn and grow on their own. I reminded her of the great things she had in her family and her sense of right and wrong. And I sent it to her. My letters became unexpected notes to learn and grow by. Because what we mail is important. We don’t mail letters that are boring about cleaning out our finger nails. We write what we find to be the meat and potatoes of what’s going on. We reserve the US Postal service for only the important things. So what I get in the mail, I know I must read. Information from the past me to the future me, with perspective and distance, to stop and ponder. Are you feeling confused? Do you need an answer, need to make a decision? Want to create and can’t find the subject? Ask yourself in a letter. Mail it and see what happens when you open and read it. Your answer comes, in the mail. Need to deal with something later and afraid you’ll forget? Send a reminder to yourself in the mail on a postcard. And tell yourself how much you love and miss you. Tell yourself how much you love spending time with you and how funny you are. Wish yourself was here. Are you here? Be here now, checking the mail and fully aware that you are here. I dare you. Watch the transforming power of letting future you solve your problems, answer your questions and be your therapist. She’s full of wisdom and she’s funny. I miss her, do you? Don’t worry, you’ll see her in a few days! Why not write her and tell her so?

Sometimes, my kids get into it! They make a picture or drawing or write their name and tell me something “secret” and sweet and we mail it. They look for it to come in the mail. When it arrives, they grab it and say “Open it!, Open it!” And it always makes me smile to see their writing or pictures, I remember sitting at the table, their making this. I see my future when I find this piece of paper and remember their smiles as they see me read it now. What a great record, what a great time making them, what a great time finding them in my mail box! Dad needs his own. Grandma needs hers and my kids need theirs. Time to buy more markers! And time to write me a letter telling me about how much I love these letters from my kids!


The Author

Teresa Bondora counsels others on the realities of losing weight, and support in the sciences. Check out her book and web site online at

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Raising Positive Kids

Ever wondered what it really takes to raise kids to be happier and more positive adults? Though I’m not yet a parent, I often think of this when my very young nieces and nephews stay in the house and I observe changes in their personalities. As I read advices of parental experts, I learned there is no secret or standard formula, but there are fool proof methods we can do to enhance the growth of the kids around us, whether it’s our kid, younger sibling, niece, nephew, or others.

1. Learn with them.

Showing kids how things are done and doing it with them instead of merely telling how it works makes them more interested and active to learn. It gives them a sense of ownership to be involved physically and mentally in an activity. Kids who are curious and who love learning are more likely to grow into proactive and productive adults who would rather create and be useful than sulk in a corner when a problem arises. Stimulating their brains by exposing them to fun and educational centers like zoos and museums would also help.

2. Teach them the value of discipline and hard work.

As soon as kids can speak, walk, and think, it is vital to pass on the value of discipline and hard work to them because not only will it help a lot as they move through life, it will also give them a greater sense of fulfillment in everything they do.

I remember a story of a well-to-do mom whose 7-year old kid told her she wanted a guitar. There was no occasion, and the mom didn’t want to give in to just any whim. So she told her kid that if she wanted something, she has to work for it. They sat down and thought of what they can do to raise money and later decided that the kid could help bake banana cakes that she herself would sell at her dad’s office. The kid gladly obliged, and as soon as the mom saw her child’s hard work and perseverance in baking and selling, she took her to the mall to buy a guitar. The mom recounts that she could have easily given in to the request early on and bought a guitar because money was no object, but no cost could compare to the happiness and fulfillment she saw in her child’s eyes the minute she got something she worked for. To her, that was priceless.

3. Listen to them.

From observing everyday parents or guardians I come across with, I think a common oversight is to underestimate the power of a child’s perception. It is important to take time to explain why and how we do things and at the same time listen to what the child has to say about it to avoid their forming negative impressions which could really mark their personalities. It would help if we ask them about how their day was and encourage them to share things. This way we can learn a lot about them and also train them to be more expressive of their thoughts and emotions instead of allowing them to grow up suppressing a lot.

Image from this site.

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Top “40” Things to do to Enjoy Life

Recently I received an email from a friend of mine listing the top 10 things in order to enjoy life more. As I sat there and read the list I thought of 100’s of more things I could add to that list. I figure that if each of us, who read this blog do at least 10 of these a day, we would be happier, healthier and have fuller lives, regardless of how happy, healthy and full our lives are already ;). According to the “ripple effect” we would then act differently, be friendlier, happier and more upbeat then we usually are and thereby the people whose lives we touch each day would also benefit from our enthusiasm and pass it on, and so on and so on and so on. (Remember the movie “pay it forward”? if not rent it, its worth the seeing)

Here are my top 40 things I think you give us all HUGE benefits:

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
  3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows so you can get more sleep each night
  4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, “My purpose is to ___________today.”
  5. Live with the three “E’s”: Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  6. Play more games and read more books then you did last year
  7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They are the things our souls need for fuel each day.
  8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  9. Dream more while you are awake
  10. Eat more food that is grown on plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
  11. Drink green tea and plenty of water, eat fish, broccoli, almonds and walnuts
  12. Try to make at least three people smile each day
  13. Clear clutter from your house, office, car and let energy flow better
  14. Do not waste energy on gossip, past issues, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Invest your energy in positive, life affirming moments and live in the present, here and now.
  15. Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card
  16. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  17. Smile and laugh more, it will keep negative thoughts and blues away
  18. Learn that life is not fair, but it is still good
  19. Life it too short to waste time hating anyone
  20. Don’t take yourself so seriously, no one else does
  21. You don’t have to win every argument, agree to disagree
  22. Make peace with your past, so it does not spoil the present and pack the garbage away so you don’t have extra unnecessary baggage
  23. Do not compare your life to others, you have no idea what their journey is all about
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
  25. Frame every “so called” disaster with these words, “will it really matter in 5 years?”
  26. Forgive everyone for everything
  27. Do not care what other people think of you, dance like no one is watching
  28. Remember a higher power heals everything, and only gives us what we have the strength to deal with. Its our journeys destiny to find that strength to deal with things life puts in our path
  29. However good or bad a situation, it will surely change
  30. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick, your friends will. Stay in touch
  31. Get rid of anything that is not useful, beautiful or joyful
  32. Envy is a waste of time, you already have the things you need
  33. The best is yet to come
  34. No matter how you feel, GET UP, DRESS UP and SHOW UP
  35. ALWAYS do the right thing
  36. Call your family often, or email them to death! 😉
  37. Each night before bedtime, complete the following statements, “I am thankful for ___________. Today I accomplished _____________”.
  38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed. (even in the simplest form, you are able to read this on a computer when many people in the world cannot afford a computer, or electricity!)
  39. Remember this is not Disney World and you definitely do not want a “Fast Pass”. You only have one life, so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
  40. When feeling overwhelmed, stressed or depressed, look at something beautiful and take a deep breath and just think how beautiful is it to be alive.

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